When exploring the backcountry, good trip planning is essential. Knowing what to expect and how to react are key. To make trip planning easier, Ontario Parks offers the following tips:

1. Try Winter!

A “Winter Trip Planning Workshop” will be held at Frontenac Provincial Park, north of Kingston, on January 12, 2013. The one-day workshop is a good introduction to winter backcountry trip planning. Route selection and assessment, safe forms of winter travel, shelters, clothing, equipment and more will be discussed. A daily vehicle permit is the only cost of admission for your group. Pre-registration is required.

Ice-out adventures are an early spring paddling ritual across Ontario. Just after the ice has left Ontario lakes, experienced paddlers head to parks like Lady Evelyn Smoothwater Provincial Park near Temagami. Water levels are higher in spring and paddlers shoot rapids on smaller rivers and streams in the park not generally navigable in summer. Spring and fall are also when wildlife in Ontario Parks is on the move. Migratory birds travel the furthest but even animals that don't migrate move with the seasons.

2. Explore to your Ability

Woodland Caribou Provincial Park is one of several Ontario Parks that offer multi-day canoe trips for experienced paddlers. Woodland Caribou has 1,600 km of canoe routes and only 1,000 visitors a year. If you prefer to travel on solid ground, 12 provincial parks have backcountry trails ranging from six to 100 km in length.

3. Leave No Trace

These 10 tips help travellers do their part to ensure Ontario Parks are preserved for future generations. Read 7 more tips here.

4. Be Prepared

Ontario Parks staff share their trip planning tips in this Park Blog post:

5. Think First Aid

When help is more than a phone call away, self-reliance is important. Wilderness first aid certification is recommended. Both St. John’s Ambulance and Canadian Red Cross offer wilderness first aid training or contact the Friends of Frontenac Provincial Park and inquire about wilderness skills training workshops held in the park throughout the year.